|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-01-26
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ARCTIC TEMPERATURES IN NORTHERN GREECEThessaloniki, 26 January 2000 (11:13 UTC+2)
A cold snap has gripped northern Greece, where freezing temperatures and dense snowfall have brought chilling misery to the region's residents.
Nevrokopi, which customarily has the region's lowest temperatures, measured minus 19 degrees Celsius this morning, while a score of villages remain isolated due to heavy snowfall. Anti-skid chains are required on all automobiles traveling on provincial roads and the country's mountainous areas.
The extreme cold has also contributed to a jump in heating oil prices, a world-wide phenomenon.
 EINSTEINS GREEK PROFESSOR COMMEMORATEDThessaloniki, 26 January 2000 (13:38 UTC+2)
Albert Einstein"s Greek professor, Constantine Karatheodoris, is to be commemorated by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki which will grant his name to the administration building and will erect a sculptured bust of his likeness on campus.
Aside from being one of Einstein"s professors, Constantine Karatheodotis was among those who pioneered the establishment of the Aristotle University where he later also taught.
Born in 1873 at Berlin where his father served as the Turkish ambassador, the distinguished mathematician died in 1950 at Munich.
 THE HOLOCAUST OF THE JEWS IN EASTERN MACEDONIA AND THRACEThessaloniki, 26 January 2000 (18:36 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki's Jewish Community is opposed to the demand expressed by Bulgaria requesting to be rewarded because it saved the Jews during WWII.
Bulgaria, said the Jewish Community president Andreas Sefiha, maintains that it saved the Jews living on its territory but it conceals the fact that it handed over to the Germans 96-99% of the Jews living in the regions of eastern Macedonia and Thrace which were held by the Bulgarians who were collaborators of the nazis.
According to figures provided by the Jewish community, the Bulgarians handed over 5.151 Jews to the Germans. Specifically, the Jewish population before WWII was 2.100 in Kavala, 1.200 in Drama, 600 in Serres, 819 in Komotini and 550 in Xanthi. After the war the Jews left were 42 in Kavala with a decline of 98%, 39 in Drama (-97%), 3 in Serres (-99%), 28 in Komotini (-96%) and 6 in Xanthi (-99%).
The Greek delegation that will attend the international conference on the Holocaust which opens in Stockholm today will also express its opposition to Bulgaria's demand.
Mr. Sefiha stated that Bulgaria can not be compared for example to Denmark that saved the Jews and its King was the first to wear the Star of David. He said that Thessaloniki's Jewish community shares the same position with the Greek foreign ministry and is opposed to the rewarding of Bulgaria.
 PAPANTONIOU: INFLATION WILL FOLLOW A DOWNWARD COURSEAthens, 26 January 2000 (18:36 UTC+2)
The certainty that inflation will follow a downward course was expressed by minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou in statements he made after the meeting with prime minister Kostas Simitis. In the meeting which was held with the participation of minister of development Evangelos Venizelos was also examined the course of the cost-of-living index after the new increases in the fuel prices.
Mr. Papantoniou pointed out that the de-escalation of inflation has a big importance for Greece's entry to the EMU. He also stressed that today's interest rate cuts will signal a circle of interest rate cuts by the commercial banks.
On the Athens Stock Exchange, the minister of national economy pointed out that it follows its own course but it can not remain indifferent to the positive developments in the Greek economy. He also stated that the Greek economy will give good news in the next few months.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that on January 31 the ECOFIN council will discuss the Greek economy's convergence plan which is up for approval.
Minister of development Evangelos Venizelos referring to the fuel price increases stated that it is a problem that concerns not only the Greek government but all the western governments, pointing out that the fuel price increase affects inflation in all the European Union states.
 THE NEW PRESIDENT WILL BE ELECTED ON FEBRUARY 8Athens, 26 January 2000 (18:35 UTC+2)
The Greek parliament will convene on February 8 to elect the new president of the Hellenic Republic, according to a statement made by parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis after his meeting with current president Kostis Stephanopoulos whom he briefed on the procedures provided by the constitution regarding the election of the new president.
Mr. Kaklamanis stated that according to all indications Mr. Stephanopoulos will be re-elected to the post and the swearing-in ceremony will be held on March 11.
 LOSSES OF 1.71% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 26 January 2000 (18:29 UTC+2)
New losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today in spite of the interest rate cuts announced by the Bank of Greece.
The general price index closed at 4.936,69 recording losses of 1.71%, while the volume of transactions reached 171 billion drachmas.
The downward trend recorded today was attributed to the lack of purchasing interest and the negative psychological state of investors.
 A 1ST CENTURY BC STATUE WAS DISCOVERED IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF DIONThessaloniki, 26 January 2000 (18:25 UTC+2)
A marble headless statue of a man wearing a long robe dated back to the 1st century BC was discovered a few days ago at the archaeological site of Dion, Vergina not by the archaeological excavations but as a result of the recent floods in the region.
According to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki archaeology professor Dimitris Pantermanlis, the finding was discovered during a cleaning up operation for the removal of the flood waters that had covered the archaeological site.
 TURKISH FM INAUGURATES CARTOON EXHIBITIOÍAthens, 26 January 2000 (13:19 UTC+2)
Turkish Foreign Minister Ismael Cem is to inaugurate an international cartoon exhibition in Athens on February 5, an event that falls within the framework of the Greek and Turkish journalists and media executives conference which will also be held in Athens on February 5-6.
The week-long exhibition is to feature a selection of the best cartoons submitted at the 16th international contest of the Turkish Institute Idin Doyan.
 PRESIDENT GIVES SCOOP TO STUDENTSAthens, 26 January 2000 (11:13 UTC+2)
In an unexpected - and unprecedented - move, the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos revealed his views concerning his re-election during a meeting he had with a group of elementary school students who visited him at the Presidential Mansion yesterday.
When asked by one of the youngsters to comment on his re-election, President Stephanopoulos stated that that which satisfies every politician is to enjoy a positive response from the public.
"It is a great satisfaction, and I feel especially vulnerable to the views expressed," he stated, noting that this also includes negative views.
The President said that his reelection is mostly due to the need to avoid driving the country to snap elections.
"We need to be frank," Mr. Stephanopoulos told the students, "the coincidence of views concerning my future election in due to certain political conditions, not so much to the affinity expressed by the parties to my person.
"So, I imagine that my election, which will most likely take place on February 8, will be endorsed by a larger number of parliamentarians than before," he added.
When asked to comment on Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Stephanopoulos told his young audience that Greece cannot make any concession on its national rights and interests.
 CYPRIOT ECONOMY MINISTER IN ATHENS TODAYAthens, 26 January 2000 (11:12 UTC+2)
Cyprus' Minister of Economy Takis Clerides is to be received by Greece's Prime Minster Costas Simitis in Athens today, where he will hand his host a check of one million dollars as part of the Cypriot government's relief aid for Athens' earthquake victims.
According to an official announcement, this aid constitutes the last of a series of relief measures undertaken by the Cypriot Ministerial Council for the assistance of those who suffered in the devastating earthquake of September 7.
Mr. Clerides will also be received by his Greek counterpart Yiannos Papantoniou.
 DEFENSE MINISTER TO VISIT CYPRUSNicosia, 26 January 2000 (11:12 UTC+2)
Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is to conduct an official, two-day visit to Cyprus on January 27-28, where he will address the "Economist" conference on the economy of Cyprus.
In addition to meeting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will also be received by Archbishop Chrisostomos, his Cypriot counterpart Socrates Hasikos and other political party leaders.
 EUROPEAN COMMISSION: CHERNOBYL MUST BE SHUT DOWN IN 2000 - THE WHOLE EUROPE IS IN DANGERBrussels, 26 January 2000 (18:37 UTC+2)
European Commissioner responsible for environmental issues, Ms. Walstrom pointed out in her response to the written question of PASOK Euro-deputy Meni Malliori that the whole Europe is at risk of being contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine.
The continuing operation of the Chernobyl nuclear plant is a threat for the whole Europe as it is possible to be contaminated by radiation that could leak from the plant.
The European Commissioner reiterated the Commission's firm position that Chernobyl must close definitely before the end of the year.
 PAPANDREOU ATTENDED THE OPENING OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE HOLOCAUSTStockholm, 26 January 2000 (18:36 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, speaking in the three-day international conference on the Jewish Holocaust and persecution taking place in Stockholm, Sweden, referred to the situation in the Balkans and to the efforts made for the creation of a co-existence framework for all people regardless of their religion and nationality.
Mr. Papandreou, who heads the Greek delegation, stated that at the dawn of the 21st century the governments and people are faced with the challenge to deal and solve crisis in order for humanity to avoid reliving a tragedy like that of the Jews.
The Greek foreign minister, referring to the efforts made by the Greek government, stressed that Greece works hard for the solution of the problem of Cyprus and is expecting the backing of the international community.
In the conference important facts will be presented by the Greek ministries of foreign affairs and education, Thessaloniki's Jewish Community, the Jewish Museum of Greece and the "Giorgos Papandreou" Institute.
 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE HOLOCAUSTStockholm, 26 January 2000 (18:28 UTC+2)
A three-day international conference on the Holocaust and the persecution of the Jews in WWII opens in Stockholm today at the initiative of Swedish prime minister Goran Persson with the participation of over 20 state leaders, scientists, historians and researchers.
The decision to organize the conference that will last until January 28 was made after a research conducted in the Swedish schools. Based on its results, students know very little about the issue and many of them even dispute the facts. Also, the research has showed a rise in the phenomena of neo-fascism recorded in schools.
Among the targets of the conference is to keep the holocaust alive in the memory of the next generations, while it will also examine the rise in the popularity of the far-right in certain European states.
Meanwhile, according to the BBC radio, the German cabinet will approve today the draft bill that will open the way for reparations of US$ 5 billion to the victims of forced labor camps during the nazi period.
The reparations will be paid by the government and the German industry.
 INFLATION IN THE EURO-ZONE COUNTRIES IS AT 1.1%Brussels, 26 January 2000 (18:25 UTC+2)
Inflation remained stable at 1.1% in the 11 Euro-zone countries in 1999 compared to 1998, according to data provided by the European Union statistics agency Eurostat which were published today.
On the contrary, in all 15 EU states there was a decrease of 0.1% and as a result inflation from 1.3% in 1998 dropped to 1.2% in 1999. It should be noted that according to the monthly figures provided, consumer prices increased twice as fast in the Euro-zone countries compared to December 1998.
Last month, inflation was higher in Ireland 3.9%, Denmark 3.1% and Spain 2.8%, while the lowest inflation rate was recorded in Britain and Sweden with 1.2% and France and Germany with 1.4%.
 ROKOFILLOS WRAPS UP HIS VISIT TO SLOVAKIABratislava, 26 January 2000 (18:20 UTC+2)
Deputy foreign minister Christos Rokofillos wraps up his visit to Slovakia, after meeting with foreign minister Eduard Kukan and prime minister Mikulas Jurinda.
They discussed the prospects for the further development of bilateral cooperation, the situation in the Balkans, the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.
Also, they examined Slovakia's relations with the European Union and the prospects for the country's EU accession after the positive decisions reached in the Helsinki EU summit meeting.
 THE RED BRIGADES HIT ITALY AGAINMilan, 26 January 2000 (18:18 UTC+2)
The terrorist organization Red Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack on a Milan city council member, according to the BBC British television network.
Emilio Santomauro, member of an Italian far-right party, was attacked by unidentified gunmen, who shot him on the leg while leaving his office. According to the available information, his condition is not serious.
A man, who maintained that he is a member of the Red Brigades, made an anonymous call to a Milan newspaper and claimed the responsibility of the attack. The Red Brigades are responsible for a number of bloody attacks in the 70's and 80's, while last year claimed responsibility for the murder of a senior adviser to the Italian government.
 GREECE FAVORITE DESTINATION OF IRISH TOURISTSDublin, 26 January 2000 (14:08 UTC+2)
A large number of Irish tourists are expected to choose Greece for their summer holidays this year, according to the results of a three-day tourism exhibition held in Dublin.
The event, titled "Holiday World", featured the participation of 700 exhibitors from around the world.
According to Irish press reports, the Mediterranean region is the most popular tourism destination for the Irish, with Greece, Madera and Majorca leading the way.
 PRODI: STABILITY PACT NEEDS STRENGTHENINGStrasbourg, 26 January 2000 (13:28 UTC+2)
The Stability Pact for the Balkan region is in need of organizations to be established in the countries it affects, according to the European Commission president Romano Prodi.
Mr. Prodi's aforementioned view was in response to a question tabled by a FYROM deputy who had inquired on the possibility of establishing Pact organizations in non-EU countries.
Moreover, Mr. Prodi stated that the Stability's Pact's organizational structure needs to be decentralized in order to ensure its local application.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament has stated that the Thessaloniki-based bureau of the Balkan Reconstruction Organization should carry out a stronger role in terms of the overall Pact, as opposed to the reconstruction of Kosovo.
Concurrently, the European Parliament is reviewing the possibility of founding an EU-Balkans bureau in FYROM.